Reforms under consideration could undermine the convenience and stability of money market funds—and turn investors away from these funds. The resulting impact to individuals would come in many forms:
- Impact Cost and Availability of Short Term Credit
Money market funds hold a significant share of the asset-backed commercial paper that finances credit card, home equity, and auto loans. Eliminating or rapidly shrinking these funds could disrupt the flow of short-term credit, driving up the cost and limiting the availability of financing for some time.
- Restrict Access to Higher Yielding Investment
Money market funds have long provided a convenient and low-cost means for households and individuals to obtain access to higher-yielding money market instruments. For retail investors, money market funds have paid at least $225 billion more in returns than competing bank products since 1985. Proposed federal changes could render these funds unviable for individual investors.
- Impact Employment
Money market funds hold more than one-third of the commercial paper that businesses issue to finance payrolls and inventories. Federal proposals could drive up the costs to these employers, affecting current employment and future job creation.
- Increase Taxes and Reduce Community Services
Money market funds hold more than half of the short-term debt that finances state and local governments for public projects such as roads, bridges, airports, water and sewage treatment facilities, hospitals, and low-income housing. Without that financing, local governments may be forced to limit projects, spend more on financing, or increase taxes.